A Fool's Errand

It is a strange tradition that on April 1 we celebrate the practice of making others look foolish through tricks and practical jokes. But April Fools' Day, or All Fools Day as it's sometimes called, is boisterously celebrated throughout the world as an unofficial holiday.

There is confusion surrounding the origins of April Fools' Day. Some believe it sprang from the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, which celebrated the arrival of spring with silly masquerade parties. Another belief is that it developed out of the medieval celebration known as the Feast of Fools. On this December holiday, common folk and young people were allowed to become popes, archbishops, and bishops for a day. The social order was turned upside down, and power was handed over to those who did not have much. These people took names such as "Lord of Misrule" and "Pope of Fools."

But how did two separate celebrations, one in March and the other in December, turn into the holiday celebrated on April 1? Some think April Fools' Day became official when Pope Gregory XIII established his new Gregorian calendar in 1582. This new calendar ordered that New Year's Day be changed to January 1. While many adopted this change, some refused and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. As a result, these traditionalists became the butt of jokes every April 1.

In France, someone who is tricked is called a poisson d'avril, or "April fish." Victims are humiliated by unknowingly having a paper fish taped to their back. In the United Kingdom, joking traditionally ceases at midday, and anyone playing a joke after noon is a fool themselves. Iranians have been playing pranks on April 1 since the year 536 Be, which makes Iran's holiday of Sizdah Bedarthe oldest pranking holiday in the world.

Celebrating April

  • Webster Senior Choir April 1st
  • Wine and Cheese wI Jane on the Accordion April 4th
  • Music Therapy wI Ting Ting April 8th & 22nd
  • Breakfast Club April 8th & 22nd
  • Lunch Outing to the Olive Garden April to" & 24th
  • April Birthday Party April 11th
  • Protestant Service wI Pastor Harry April 15
  • Good Friday Service April 18th
  • Root Beer Float Social wI GT Review April 25th
  • Resident Council April 30

Original Poetry by Residents

The following poems (three Haikus and one limerick) were written by a group of residents at the Wellness - Body & Mind session on March 19th. The group consisted of Ruth M., Jimmy G., Adair W., Vivian B., Donna G., Mary L., Harriett N., Jane C., and Jeanette L.

Irish Dancers
By AdairW.

A group of mothers were waiting together as their children were taking Irish Dance lessons. They decided that, rather than just idly sit and chit-chat as their kids learned to dance, they would learn to dance themselves.

35 years later, the children are grown and gone, but the mothers, now known as the Shannonside Irish Dancers, are still active and enthusiastic performers of the Jig, the Reel and other Irish steps. And on Monday, March 3rd, they made their annual visit to Crest Manor.

A group of 20, including our own Mary O-C, performed in the Main Dining Room. Aside from the dancing, they also sang, recited prose and poetry and told jokes. A well-rounded evening!

If you watch closely on R News or Channel 8, you may just see the Shannonside Irish Dancers in action!

Mystery Resident
Mary L

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, with my older sister and brother. I was married and my husband and I had a daughter and two sons. My family moved to Fairport in 1950, and for a time I worked at RG &E. I was also a Sunday School teacher and a scout leader.

I had two pasttimes that took up much of my leisure hours, the first being bowling. I bowled for 11 years at Fairview Lanes in Fairport.

But the real passion of those years was traveling with my daugher to dog shows all over the country. She raised and groomed Great Danes, and of the 20 she had over the years, eleven were champions.

I enjoy orchestra and Big Band music and also some country. My favorite singer is Eddy Arnold. My favorite season of the year is fall.

A "Thank You!"
Mary L

Every Sunday moming, without fail, lay ministers from St. John of Rochester Church (not priests, but appointed to serve) come to bless us with prayers and communion. Those of us Catholics who are in the Activity Room for Coffee, Donuts, and Current Events usually are served there as a group - kind of a "little congregation"!

These people have been coming longer than anyone can remember, and we are so used to them being here, that we may not realize that they are here on their own time showing us this kindness. It is easy to forget to be grateful. So, on behalf of all whom they serve, we say a big
"THANK YOU!!!!!"

New Library Materials

March saw the beginning of a new service provided by the Rochester Public Library. A selection of both regular and large-print books, as well as six DVDs has been loaned out to us for a two-month period. Residents can come to the Activity Room, look over the collection and sign out any materials of interest. Because these items are property of the library, it is very important that are always signed out, with the resident's name and room number. A library representative will come back every two months to change over the titles, although anyone wishing to keep a title after that time may do so.

Books, VHS tapes and DVDs from the regular Crest Manor collection are still available and do not need to be signed out. Any item, however, with a light green sticker on the spine, baring the letters "RPL" are from the loan program and MUST be signed out.

DVD titles available include Night at the Museum, The Help, and Ocean's 11. Authors in the collection on loan include David Baldacci, Tom Clancy, Janet Evanovich and Mary Higgins Clark. Unfortunately, materials cannot be taken out of the facility and are not available to staff.

For more details, see Samantha in the Activities Department.

Birds of a Feather

Many have heard of the Audubon Society, an environmental organization dedicated to studying and preserving birds and their natural habitats. This organization is named after John James Audubon, the French-American painter of birds who dedicated his

life to his unique art. His birthday, April 26, is now celebrated as Audubon Day.

Audubon showed an affinity for birds starting in childhood. He spent hours roaming the countryside, collecting birds' nests and eggs, drawing them once he returned home.

In 1803, the Napoleonic Wars broke out in France. Audubon's father obtained a fake passport and sent John James to America to avoid the war. It was at his family's farm in Pennsylvania that Audubon devoted himself full-time to the outdoors: hunting, fishing, and drawing birds.

Audubon was obsessed with birds. In an effort to study their habits, he tied string around their legs to see if they returned year after year. He learned the art of taxidermy and worked in natural museums. But his greatest contribution to ornithology was his brilliant book Birds of America. He dedicated his life to drawing every single bird in America. His style was new and different: a highly detailed drawing of each bird, more accurate than ever before. His drawings were life-sized, with pages over three feet tall and two feet wide. After 14 years of traveling the entire country, Audubon drew over 700 species of birds. Birds of America is often considered the greatest picture book ever made, and original copies have sold for over 10 million dollars. How's that for a nest egg?